SOURCE: Five Star Equities

Five Star Equities

April 27, 2012 08:20 ET

Small and Midsized Banks Take Advantage of Neglected Markets

Five Star Equities Provides Stock Research on Fifth Third Bancorp and SunTrust Banks

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Apr 27, 2012) - Bank stocks have skyrocketed this year as an improving economy has led to increased lending and better loan performance. Although the regional banks have been lagging behind the money center banks in 2012, they have begun to increase their market share of loan markets that the larger banks have been neglecting. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Regional Banking Industry and provides equity research on Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ: FITB) and SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI).

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According to Damon DelMonte, Senior Vice President of Equity Research at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, larger banks currently do not have the appetite for new loans, and as a result have begun to shy away from different areas of the market losing touch with some of their smaller customers. This has opened up a major opportunity for small and midsized banks. "I guess if you want to characterize this, you could say the pie is not getting any bigger, but the smaller players are stealing larger slices of that pie. While the economy continues to be on the mend, the desire for new loans is still not there yet. And as I've said, smaller banks have had success taking market share from larger players."

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Fifth Third Bancorp reported first quarter 2012 net income of $430 million, compared with net income of $314 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 and net income of $265 million in the first quarter of 2011. After preferred dividends, first quarter 2012 net income available to common shareholders was $421 million or $0.45 per diluted share, compared with fourth quarter net income of $305 million or $0.33 per diluted share, and net income of $88 million or $0.10 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2011.

SunTrust Banks recently reported net income available to common shareholders of $245 million, or $0.46 per average common share, for the first quarter of 2012. The company reported earnings per average common share increased by $0.33 from the fourth quarter of 2011 and by $0.38 from the first quarter of 2011.

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